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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

Kristin Lis: The Stories I told Myself That Kept Me Burnt Out (and How I Changed Them)

Need to get started on your burnout recovery? Download the Core Values Worksheet today!

“It was something I was doing just for me, no one else, a very unfamiliar feeling,” says today’s guest Kristin Lis, reflecting on her decision to begin burnout recovery with host Caitlin Donovan as her burnout coach, nearly a year before today’s interview. At that time, Kristin's mental fog was so severe that she couldn't read or form coherent sentences, a critical issue for her role as a lawyer focused on amicable divorce and family matters. Like many suffering from burnout, her boundaries were almost non-existent. She took calls and checked emails at all hours, even conducting Zoom hearings while at Disney World—practices deemed normal and necessary in the legal field. She was constantly reshaping herself to fit into her company’s mold.

In today’s episode of FRIED, Kristin discusses the devastating effects of values misalignment, whether between a company’s stated versus practiced values, an employee’s values versus the company’s, or your own values versus those you aspire to live by. When Kristin allowed herself to fully imagine her ideal life and work, and was willing to proceed without a map or a net, something truly amazing happened.

Kristin’s story exemplifies what can occur when we break free from the limiting narratives we tell ourselves and allow ourselves the time and grace needed to heal.


  • “What I do for a living isn’t a value. The role I have in family life, that’s not a value. And I also can’t borrow values from an organization I work with. I had to figure out not only what my values were, but actually what I wanted them to be, and those were two very different things.” (16:38 | Kristin Lis)

  • “That misalignment—I’ve heard of misalignment, everybody’s heard this on the podcast—that is a huge factor for burnout. When we’re not living in integrity with ourselves, it’s this internal conflict that doesn’t necessarily show up except for that tight feeling in the chest and the really sick feeling in your stomach. When you’re perceiving and doing something and it doesn’t really truly represent the best part of you, but you’ve convinced yourself that this is the only way to do it because this is the way it’s done in this field, or my office, and it’s unsettling.” (17:42 | Kristin Lis) 

  • “I was fully prepared to take a 50% payout. I thought that if I worked half the time, I would make half the money. And instead it was completely inaccurate. Again, it was another story I was telling myself in order to kind of compel me to stay in the same massively burnout-y, toxic corporate structure.” (28:40 | Kristin Lis)


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